Raft storage - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-09-2012   #1
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 78
Raft storage

I know this has been a topic before. I just got my first 13ft raft. I was a drift boat guy but got a raft for bigger water. My question is for all you with no trailer. Is it safe to say rafts are just a total pain in the a$&! Rolled up and in the bag it fits in my rig easy. It blows up fast and easy but taking out is a workout. What are some tips for getting off the water? And how the heck do I put it away dry and clean, after use it's soaked. If I built a platform to blow it up in my yard with a tarp how long would it take to dry out? Do any of you use your rafts for day trips with no trailers??

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Old 03-09-2012   #2
 
Newberg, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1981
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 308
What brand raft do you have? Lots of people don't have trailers, The raft material makes a differance on the care.
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Old 03-09-2012   #3
 
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Raft drying

I don't use a raft bag. I store it rolled up with a cam strap wrapped around it.

Clean it in the water at the take out (dump buckets of water on it, possibly flip it over, whatever to get the grit off). Pick out a clean place to put the raft (put a tarp down first? clean patch of concrete? grass?). Pick it up completely out of the water (2 or more people, depending on raft size and weight)- don't let it touch the ground- gets it covered in dirt again. Put it on the tarp. Dry it here and roll* or roll it up wet and dry it later. throw in back of car/truck.

Or, could throw it on the roof still inflated if it's a short drive and easily strapped to the roof of the car/truck bed. I've often put rafts of that size on top of station wagons without problems.

If it's not convenient to dry it at the take out (as it rarely is), just take roll it wet and take it home- at home unroll it in the yard/garage. Consider re-inflating it and propping it up against a tree or something.

How long does it take to dry out? depends I guess. The ropes take the longest to dry out (perimeter line, lace in floor). We have a lace-in floor which takes a long time to dry out in sunny CO. I'll leave it in the sun (MINIMAL INFLATION- as the sun warms the chambers and can make them pop) for a few hours if I'm in no hurry. And if I'm in a hurry I do it later.

Edit- depending on the material the sun is either not great or bad for the boat. I always store mine out of the sun, and I'm more of a kayaker than a rafter so I don't us the raft very much.

*If drying it at the take out as you roll it- deflate it and let it dry flat. Then fold 1/3 of the boat over. Make sure that's totally dry/let it dry for a while before continuing. Fold the other 1/3 of the boat over and make sure that's dry, or let it dry like this for a few minutes. Basically just take some time every time you do a step towards rolling it to make sure it's as dry as possible. Note that the ropes won't dry all the way this way typically.
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Old 03-09-2012   #4
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 78
I have a 13ft tributary. And, I know some guys at AIRE personally and they all confirmed that rolling it is totally fine for years. all their rafts are stored this way with no problems.
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Old 03-09-2012   #5
 
Newberg, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1981
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 308
I have an AIRE 156R,I store it rolled up in the off season with no problems! The floor laceing is the only thing that takes time to dry but has never had any issues rolling it up wet.No mold, mildew or fowel smell.I lube the zippers with wax,the kind for dry suits.Active water sports has it or a dive shop.Use 303 only once a year or when you clean it with I.B.C. T1112 I have a rig & trailer,lets take your raft down the upper Clackamas, My 156 is to heavy to carry.
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Old 03-09-2012   #6
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 78
Jpbay. Your in Oregon? Is there a similar forum with more NW members? I am glad you have not had mold issues. When I first read that I was thinking that you where in Colorado and well, of course no mold issues in Colorado. I am a fishing guy more then whitewater. I have a simple bench frame for the raft and I use it for transportation only. The upper clack however, I never even thought about that.

What is the reason for waxing the zippers?
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Old 03-09-2012   #7
 
Newberg, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1981
Join Date: Jun 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T1112 View Post
Jpbay. Your in Oregon? Is there a similar forum with more NW members? I am glad you have not had mold issues. When I first read that I was thinking that you where in Colorado and well, of course no mold issues in Colorado. I am a fishing guy more then whitewater. I have a simple bench frame for the raft and I use it for transportation only. The upper clack however, I never even thought about that.

What is the reason for waxing the zippers?
I wax the zippers so they are easy to clean the inside bladders or if I need to make a repair. A stuck zipper would realy suck! We paddle raft the upper clack. Class 3&4 fun stuff. A dry suit works best up there but i used a wet suit many times even in mid winter
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Old 03-10-2012   #8
 
Centennial, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 72
Also make sure that your floor valves and metal on the cam strap are facing up when you put it in your rig to prevent rubbing a hole in your floor.
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Old 03-10-2012   #9
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Eastern Slope, Colorado
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Keep a battery operated (or cigarette lighter adapted) mini shop-vac in your vehicle, along with a tarp, 2 straps, and 2 towels. When you get off the river, put the boat clean on your tarp, wipe it dry and clean with the towels, shop vac it flat, roll it tight and neat, use the strap to secure it, and wrap and strap it in the tarp to keep it clean and safe.

Rolling boats is fine, even for long-term storage. A good, seamless roll inside of a tarp makes your boat really easy to store and transport. I recently unrolled a bucket boat that has been rolled and stored in a shed for a decade or more and I saw absolutely no damage from this. It was a hypalon Avon, so I can't testify to this kind of longevity with PVC boats, but I keep my Aire duckies rolled tight and have yet to notice any adverse effects.

Regular use of 303 and regular cleaning is a good way to make your inflatable last the 30+ years that it should. Unless.... it's not a Saturn is it?
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Old 03-10-2012   #10
 
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 536
1.buckets of water for the big shit at the take out.

2. proceed to get the fuck out of the way at said take out.

3. if a SB, then what very little water is left on your raft anyway and will be mostly dry by the time you get sorted. they don't soak up water like a sponge or anything.

4. roll up. go home. unroll. lay flat. leave.

5. get beer.

6. return after a couple beers to roll up.

7. forget about it.

8. repeat 1-7 until end of season.

9. end of season: clean it good. dry it good. 303 it good.

10. again, forget about it. it's a fucking raft.

you are going to build a platform to dry out your raft? seriously?
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